Considering Solo Student Bloggers
Much more attention has been directed to collaborative group blogging activities, yet little has been done to encourage solo blogging within an instructional setting.
I am referring to students using the blogging tool within a formal social learning network to pursue formal independent studies for credit. I am not referring to using blogs for entirely informal learning.
Student Bloggers need to have time set aside to spend time apart from group learning activity to reflect and review and make sense of ideas, partly by drawing from the ideas of others, and partly by drawing on personal experiences.
Some of the ideas students encounter by reading or interacting with others are inconsistent with their experiences, and some resonate very closely.
But the personal work is seldom expressed to the instructor or tutor directly. The Solo student blogger needs to spend additional time working through issues related to motivation and focus. In order to successfully engage in deep readings, and faciltate the affective grappling with the materials, independent students need to draw on their metacognitive skills as well as draw on their self-system. The expression of personal doubts and questions can provoke anxiety and uncertainty is seldom directly expressed within a formal setting, but could seriously impact the success of the learner in persisting long enough to complete the course.